Next, let me apologize for any toes I might step on or feelings I might hurt. First, this is just my opinion, and second...it's my blog. If you don't like it, don't read it. Sorry if that hurts but that's the way it is.
Now on to my post for today.
Remember back years ago when John Locke got caught paying for book reviews? The whole publishing world went bezerk. And so did all the readers. They were totally crazed. It was the worst thing that had ever happened in the book world. I don't know all the details, I try to avoid drama most of the time, but apparently he paid for "fake" reviews and even paid some people to buy his book and review it. Shame on him.
Now, however, it's okay. An author can pay Kirkus $425 for a 250 word review or $575 for a 500 word review.
Or, pay $225 to IndieReview for a 300 word review.
BlueInk Review charges $395 - $695 for their review depending on how soon you want it.
Self-Publishing Review is a bargain at $149 for a 500 word review. And you can pay $299 and get your review posted as a "Lead Story" on their site.
Now, all these say they can't guarantee a positive but here's the thing. If I'm paying for a review, especially several hundred dollars, I want one I can use. I want a review that will help me sell my book. If I know I'm going to get a negative review, or a not so great one, then I'm not gonna pay. I think as shoppers you'd have to agree. Why buy something you might not be able to use. These reviewers know this too. Too many negative reviews will hurt their income. And that's not a good thing for them. Especially when most of their income is made from the selling of reviews.
So, what's the difference in paying for one of these reviews and what John Locke did? Well, obviously, his reviews were fakes. But...if you get a glowing review from Kirkus, for example, and your book sucks - is that not a fake review also?
And yes, it does happen. I personally know someone who received a wonderful review from Kirkus and his book is full of typos, errors, grammar issues, and just plain unreadable. Which makes me seriously question any review from a paid site. I'm not sure what the answer is though.
I mean, Amazon won't let anyone I'm connected with on social media review my books because it might not be an honest review. But is a review that's been paid for honest?
I understand it takes time to read a book and review it. I totally get the time involved. And I get that reviewers should be compensated in some form or fashion for that time. Again, I don't have any answers. I'm just tossing this out for discussion.
So, when is it okay to pay for a book review? How do you feel about the subject?
And, just why is it so hard to get readers to review a book? I mean, Amazon makes it real simple when you finish a book on Kindle. How long does it take to comment that "I loved this book." or "Couldn't put it down, had to read all night until I finished it."? And yeah, that punctuation is probably wrong.
Do you review books you've read? All of them or just the ones you love? Honestly, I don't review every book. I'm trying to be more diligent about it though.
Let me know what you think...I really do want to know. :-)